Abby Nemec realizes her pricing philosophy is “not how farriers usually do things.”
She began charging her clients by the hour, rather than by the horse, after a personal revelation in the late 1990s.
“I got to the point where I was charging $40 per trim and I’d get three horses done in an hour. That was fine, but then I’d go to another barn and it would take more than 2 1/2 hours to trim two horses and I would walk out of there with $80,” she says. “I thought ‘there is something wrong with this world.’ So I changed my philosophy.”
The part-time farrier and full-time academic program manager/director of the equine program at Post University in Waterbury, Conn., didn’t go to horseshoeing school and started with a client list full of “problem” horses.
Nemec became interested in hoof care in 1998 while working at a local YMCA camp. She had horses of her own at the time and asked her farrier to show her the basics of trimming and shoeing.
She then spent 3 years providing hoof care at the YMCA camp, after which she began picking up clients of her own. By 2003 she was a full-time farrier with about 140 horses at her peak. Equine nutrition consulting and thermal image processing kept her from working 40 hours a week in the farrier field, but as a short (5-foot-3) and small (“I don’t weigh a lot”) person, larger horses became increasingly frustrating to shoe and…